Food · Lifestyle

How to: Photograph Food Without Being a Jerk

I have to confess, I am very guilty of being the first person at the table to whip out their camera as soon as the food comes. My friends complain about how my Instagram is literally all food photos and how I’m the absolute worst profile to stumble across at 2a.m. Food photography is an art, a hobby, a lifestyle (ok I’m kidding about the last one). But let’s not be that jerk that subjects our friends to our bad habits (at least when it comes to photographing food).

So here are some tips to help you avoid being “that jerk who takes food pictures”:

1. It shouldn’t take you more than 2 minutes

Everyone knows that art takes time. But when there are hungry people waiting on that pizza that you can’t seem to find the right lighting for, you better hurry it up. It’s impolite to make people wait and you paid for your food to come to your table at some edible temperature right? As a rule of thumb, if it takes longer than 2 minutes for me to find the perfect picture of my meal then that picture just isn’t happening.

2. Don’t push the angles

We’ve all seen it happen. The food arrives and the cameras come out. Then suddenly someone is standing up on a chair (or even the table) like it’s a rock concert trying to get a perfect overhead of the food. First off, it’s a safety hazard. Slipping and falling isn’t a great way to start any meal. If you really must take aerial pictures of your food, I highly suggest using a selfie stick. I know it’s called a selfie stick and that it’s used for selfies, but trust me and push your imagination a bit. The same goes for wide shots of your meal or any other creative angle you may choose. Just be careful you don’t wack a friend or waiter in the process.

3. There’s a time and place for everything

Not every meal needs a picture, just like not every picture needs a hashtag. If you are in a really dark steakhouse you just have to surrender and realize that the lighting just isn’t there. You could light up the joint with the world’s largest torch, but you would just ruin the atmosphere for other diners. Next time just request a seat by the window. There will also be moments when it’s just not appropriate to whip your camera out. Be socially aware, don’t take pictures at funerals.

I hope this helps you to photograph a little better. Enjoy your food, you paid for it!

Does other people’s food photography annoy you? Any other tips or tricks?

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